tv The Situation Room CNN August 3, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PDT
we said mitt romney can come on any time. the only reason why the president was on and the governor wasn't is because the president called. mitt romney, call me up. you can call my cell any time. we'll get you on eight and a half minutes. we'll talk michigan football. >> olympics. >> whatever you want. >> thank you so much. i'm brianna keilar. thank you for joining us. stay tuned for "the situation roo room". happening now, a new unemployment report and the race for the white house. some surprising numbers and what they mean for the candidates. also, condemnation and grave concern for syria at the unite nationed as dozens more die in civil war fighting. roller coaster diplomacy. we now know the identity of this mystery man spotted at amusement park. wolf blitzer is off today.
you're in the situation room. it's part economics snapshot, part political football and there's only three more jobs reports coming out before the november election. the latest one released today has something for everybody. the labor didn't reports better than job gains in july. the unemployment rate still picked up a notch. dan, how does all this play out on the campaign trail? >> reporter: for mitt romney it allows him to say see, i told you so. unemployment still going up. it's still above 8%. what the president is doing is not working. the president was putting the spotlight on what he says is working even though he admitted there's still a lot of pain. >> thank you everybody.
>> reporter: surrounded by a group of hand picked middle class and workers, president obama defended his policies and emphasized gained in a struggling economy. 163,000 jobs created in july. 1.1 million so far this year. 4.5 million over the last 29 months. >> those are our neighbors and family members finding work. the security that comes with work. let's acknowledge we've still got too many folks out there who are looking for work. >> reporter: the jobs growth was greater than economists expected. the president's opponent, mitt romney, said that was more evidence of the administration's failed policies. >> it's another hammer blow to the struggling middle class families of america because the president has not had policies that put american families back to work. >> reporter: romney promised voters his economic plan would create 12 million new jobs by the end of his first term and
bring the economy, quote, roaring back. he's finding believers but in los angeles, we found a skeptic of romney's promise. >> i don't think he's with the people. >> reporter: ernie lost his job as a mortgage broker right before president obama took office. >> i'm so tired of collecting unemployment. >> reporter: a desperate craigslist posting landed him work after four years as a cleaning company supervisor. he's not satisfied with the president but thinks he deserves more time to fix the economy. it's an appeal president obama has been making on the campaign trail. >> we recognize there's no quick fixes or easy solutions to all the problems we face. >> reporter: republicans call that an excuse, and say mitt romney's business experience lies the solution to put americans back to work. as you saw the president was surrounded by those middle class families. a way to emphasize that campaign theme that he's looking out for the middle class and his tax policies will benefit the middle
class as opposed to what mitt romney is offering which he says will benefit the very wealthy and what the president describes as upside down economics. >> thanks so much. we want to talk more about jobs and the presidential race with gloria. i look at the numbers and listen to the analysis. here is what i hear. pretty much what i've heard for the past many months. the economy is creating jobs, not much jobs. has anything changed? >> the american public is getting set on the fact that they are pessimistic. if you look at the job numbers, the creation numbers go back to january. things were going pretty well. look at that line up until july. you see over the last seven months things have been heading
in the wrong direction and the american public is beginning to kind of sink in. that's really a problem for the president because the public is so pessimistic. >> when both of these guys are both mr. fix it. i'm going to fix it or continue to fix it. here is what we see, who has good ideas to improve the economy. romney, 43%. obama, 36%. it seem like a key question but that doesn't match what we see in the overall numbers. >> first of all, this is clearly mitt romney's strong suit which is why you hear him talk about the economy over and over and over again. he's presenting himself as mr. fix it. if people were to vote on that single issue alone, that would be really good for mitt romney. there are other factors here that people take inconsideratio when they vote for president. who is more likable and number
two, who is somebody that understands their problems. by all of those measures the president does a lot better. that's why you see the president trying to dismantle and disqualify mitt romney on the economic issue. they know they do better along all those other measures. this is the one area they have to take him down on. they have to say he's really not qualified. he really was not a job creator when he was over at bain. he was a job killer. romney has to counter that but he also has to show the rest of himself to the american public. that's what where he says there another part of me. you can like me. i really do care about the middle class. those are the points he really has to kind of focus on right now. >> we say it's all about the economy, we mean it's all about the economy and a couple other things. >> and a couple other things. people vote their pocketbook, but they also vote -- >> there's a good feeling. >> they also look at other things. >> rick perry told cnn that he
doesn't think whoever mitt romney picks as vice president will dramatically change the equation. do you agree? >> yeah. i think that's probably right. i think we saw sarah palin was sort of the big game-changer, if you will. and even she didn't end up changing the equation. mccain did not win. i think mitt romney's choices are kind of solid. and what he may look at is somebody who can bring him a state. if you have portman of ohio or marco rubio of florida, if either of those men could deliver a state, that might be a game-changer. >> that's key. if they could. >> if they could. i think that's a big if. so in the end i think mitt romney's going to end up going with somebody he believes has the experience and whom he's comfortable with. and they're going to make sort of an anti-palin choice. and i think theyrobably agree with the former vice president
that sarah palin was a mistake. and maybe they'll pick someone like tim pawlenty who can't deliver a state but who's run for president before. and mitt romney's quite comfortable with. we'll have to see. >> chief political analyst -- i bet we'll talk about this again. >> you think? >> i bet. gloria, good to see you. romney finds himself engaged in a public battle with senate majority leader harry reid. the senator says he's been told by a former romney associate that the candidate has not paid taxes in a decade. so far reid has offered no proof. and now romney is telling him to "put up or shut up." cnn congressional correspondent dana bash has the details. >> reporter: the latest just came to my inbox, this is a fund raising e-mail sent out by harry reid to his supporters asking for money specifically because he says he is not backing down when it comes to pushing romney on this unsubstantiated claim. mitt romney didn't even try to
hide his disgust with harry reid. >> harry reid really has to put up or shut up, all right. so, harry, who are your sources? >> reporter: what romney wants reid to put up or more likely shut up about is this unsubstantiated claim. >> the word's out he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove that he has paid taxes because he hasn't. >> reporter: let's be clear, that word is out because reid himself put it out there, multiple times. he says he got the information from an investor at bain capital, romney's former firm. reid refuses to say more than that. and also refuses to back down saying in a statement "as i said before, i was told by an extremely credible source that romney has not paid taxes for ten years. people who make as much money as romney have many tricks at their disposal to avoid paying taxes." reid won't reveal his source and romney won't release his tax records. he insists he paid his taxes. >> let me say categorically, i
have paid taxes every year. and a lot of taxes. a lot of taxes. so harry is simply wrong. >> reporter: the senate democratic leader is known for verbal gaffes that make his aides wince like complaining about smelly tourists. >> because the high humidity and how hot it gets here, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the capital. >> reporter: but reid's attack on romney is different. multiple sources close to reid tell cnn it is a calculated strategy to lure romney into responding. and getting the what's he hiding tax issue back in the headlines. a trip half a dozen years ago to reid's hometown of searchlight, nevada, explained a lot. he grew up in a trailer with no running water. and literally fought his way out of poverty as a boxer. as a politician he's not afraid to punch below the belt. like when he called president bush a loser and a liar. and told cnn this about then-fed chairman alan greenspan. >> i think he's one of the biggest political hacks we have in washington. >> reporter: when reid
personally dislikes someone, it often fuels hisolitical attacks. like when he said this about john mccain in 2008. >> john has bad temperment. he's wrong on the war and wrong on the economy. >> reporter: this week mccain used the romney tax controversy to say, back atia, harry. >> i've known senator reid for many, many years. and occasionally he displays some rather erratic behavior. >> reporter: now, candy, we have to underscore that harry reid isn't some back bencher trying to get attention. he's the senate's top democrat making an unsubstantiated accusation at the presumed republican presidential nominee. now, it is really easy to see why republicans especially and even some democrats are saying this is just irresponsible of harry reid to do. but i've talked to lots of sources close to reid. and he simply to be frank doesn't care. in fact, he relishes this. says he is eager to be the guy who gets out there and throws some punches to keep the metaphor going. and he understands he's going to get hit back.
and he is eager to do so. >> i suspect none of the democrats are complaining actually work for the re-election team for the president. they're just as happy to have harry reid out there doing this. >> reporter: that's a very safe bet. >> all right. dana bash, thanks so much. appreciate it. there is a wildfire burning out of control forcing people nearby to flee their homes. we are following breaking news. also the picture that launched a thousand questions. now we know who's riding roller coasters with the north korean leader. plus, he was bitten by a great white shark and lived to tell the tale. now he is. we'll hear it in his own words. >> there was really only one option, which was swim. swim towards shore.
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the temperature today is going to get to 111 degrees. and then you're a firefighter and standing next to this fire trying to put it out, that must be 120 to 130 degrees. i've seen some helicopters in the sky. here's oklahoma city itself. let's drive down i-35 down toward noble. little farther off to the southeast, slaughterville. and this is where the fire is. kind of in a wild land area. not a lot of homes. no subdivisions out here. but the problem is if the wind continues to blow from the southwest at 20 to 30 like it is right now, it could blow this fire into pink, maybe toward shawnee or tecumseh. you're in the way of the embers that could be coming down from the fire. we're going to keep you up to date on this. this is not an unusual situation for oklahoma. there are hundreds if not thousands of wildfires in oklahoma every year. you typically don't get them very close to houses like this is. and that's why this has become a story, candy. >> yeah, but as far as we know so far nobody injured and no
forced evacuations, correct? >> no. exactly. this is not blowing toward noble or moore or norman. this is not blowing toward those big cities. it's blowing away from the cities actually. and eventually if it keeps going -- i hope not, but up toward i-40 near tecumseh and shawnee, if they can get a handle on it, as soon as the wind dies down the fire stops leaping so quickly. >> chad myers, thanks. i know you'll keep an eye on it for us. united nations, a resolution condemns the violence that's killed as many as 17,000 people. it also slams the security council's failure to reach consensus on tough resolutions against syria. we want to get the latest with cnn's mohamedamjoom following developments from abudabi.
>> reporter: candy, opposition activists have been telling us about details emerging in the city of hama, we're told another government massacre happened there today according to opposition activists, at least 70 people were killed there earlier today. this coming on the heels of news that emerged yesterday about a massacre that happened in the damascus suburb. this would have happened late wednesday. amateur video posted online yesterday showed very disturbing and graphic scenes. one of which you're seeing right now purports to show a mass burial site. dozens of bodies wrapped in sheets awaiting burial. a very chaotic scene as residents in the town and loved ones very, very distraught about what happened there. for its part the syrian government said what happened was that terrorist elements were vanquished, that many terrorists were killed and captured because of their activities in that
town. but also today we're hearing about renewed and more intense clashes in the capital of damascus in several neighborhoods. one in particular we saw amateur video earlier today showing rebel free syrian army fighters as they swept through the streets of a damascus neighborhood. and you could hear gunfire in the background. the results of clashes there with regime forces. candy. >> what about aleppo? we've heard so much over the past couple days of massacre in aleppo and saying the fighting is getting worse. has it reached a peak? or is the worst still yet to come? >> reporter: what's so worrying, candy, is that officials that we've been speaking with and residents of aleppo and activists there are all saying that they believe the worst of the violence has not yet been seen in aleppo. the u.n. peace keeping chief also said earlier today that the main battle for aleppo had not yet started. the activists that i've been speaking with there the past few
days have said that there's a humanitarian crisis going on there. that military reinforcements are still arriving there. the tanks are still arriving. they believe the battle for aleppo, syria's commercial hub, is still to come. and we're hearing about families that are huddling in public buildings in makeshift shelters, in schools trying to take shelter from the shelling -- the constant shelling going on in neighborhoods there. we've heard of war planes attacking different neighborhoods there. it's a very, very dire situation, candy. >> sounds like the worst is yet to come. cnn's mohamed jamjoom coming from a lot of different places. thank you so much, mohamed, i really appreciate it. bitten by a great white shark. this man lived to tell the tale. he shares his story of a too close encounter with a real life jaws. and the war of words between mitt romney and harry reid. we'll talk about that and more with paul begala and alice
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standby, you're in "the situation room." in nevada today mitt romney insisted again that senator harry reid is simply wrong in accusing romney of paying no taxes f ten ye romnd reporters, i have idaxes every year and a lot of taxes. joining me for today's strategy session are democratic rategist paul begala along with republican strategist al lis sewart whos a spokesperson for the michele bachmann and rick santorum campaigns. you were busy in the primary season. mitt romney came out swinging today against harry reid calling his claims a diversion from the economy. let's take a quick listen to romney. >> harry reid really has to put up or shut up, all right? so, harry, who are your sources? let's have harry explain who that is. by the way, harry, i understand what you're trying to do. you're trying to deflect the fact that jobs numbers are bad, that americans are out of work. and you're trying to throw anything up on the screen that
will grab attention away from the fact that the policies of the white house haven't worked to put americans to work. and the policies of the senate haven't even got a budget in place for three years. >> let's set aside the whole question of whether mitt romney should release his taxes. let me ask you this question as a strategist, is romney exactly right? that that's precisely what harry reid is doing? >> that's certainly the effect. what's odd, it's got to be maddening to the romney team, romney is feeding the distraction. in other words, you don't help the other side. i know you know this. our viewers need to know, i advise the pro-obama super pacs. i've got a dog in this hunt. nothing makes me happier than to see mitt romney on tv yammering about taxes and harry reid. set aside i believe every major presidential candidate should release his or her taxes. set that aside. he's helping my cause here. that's not his message. what we saw in that sound bite is not mitt romney's message. >> his message is outline more of his economic plan, tax plan, that's what he's talking about.
the problem is we have members of the media and the obama campaign continuing to feed this. he's spoken at length yesterday and today about his economic plan. and he's asked repeatedly about these income taxes. >> right. >> for harry reid to go out there and throw out these baseless unnamed source false allegations, it's simply wrong. >> politics ain't bean ball, as we all know. and he is doing it. and it has become a distraction. >> it's become the focus. >> look, if the democratic leader of the senate is engaging the republican nominee -- presumed nominee, that's just news. so how does romney get this off without releasing his taxes. >> he does what he's been doing. he's been talking about jobs and the economy. today we have here once again another month of unemployment above 8%. we've had that for 42 months. romney's doing exactly what he should do. you've been on the campaign trail. people are not talkingout what kind of income taxes the candidates are filing.
they're talking about who's going to create jobs and turn the economy around. that's what people care about. the democrats and obama administration may be whining show us more. he's right not to release anymore ents. if he released two more years, they would want four or five or six. r t jobs a the omy. this n more than a distraction. >> my mom is watching this. it says -- >> your mom is watching this, but a l o peo lot of sound bites in my y. southat bite hurts r because people l at t p osh his tax returns or shut up. actuallythat'shat should do. put up the tax returns or shut up and stop fighting with harry reid. i'm loving it. >> in the next scroll across the bottom will be unemployment at 8.3% and that's what people are going to pay attention to. it's getting worse. there are still more people without jobs. that's what people are concerned about. and also certainly with the obama care, those are the issues people are concerned about. this is nothing more than a distraction. the economy is in the toilet. it's not getting any better. and the obama campaign wants to continue to focus ton this as
opposed to the fact his policies have failed to make things better for the american people. >> so you would agree that mitt romney is right in his analysis but he might be -- you think he's wrong in how he's responding to it. >> right. >> is there a point where he just has to shut this -- go talk to harry reid, sort of slam it shut. >> when i was working with governor huckaby, the media constantly asked for more and more. the romney family has complied with the law. as a candidate he's complied with everything he's supposed to do. he's operated within the law and the context of a candidate. period. >> what's your guess? here's my guess, i believe he's not releasing his taxes because there are some years where he paid little or nothing. what's your theory? why is he hiding his taxes? >> because least done everything he's supposed to. he's not hiding everything. >> of course he is. >> he' been fully compliant with what he's supposed to do as a candidate. this is not an issue. >> i would never accuse him of illegality.
>> you can't make up something about somebody and throw it out there. >> except they did, right? that's the problem. we don't know he made it up. he says he got it from a source. i'm sure he did. let me turn you to a different subject. former president bill clinton, a speech writer for ronald reagan wrote this today, the obama white house and the campaign have not been able to make a case for their guy. they're just trying to make a case against the other guy, but mr. clinton might actually be able to make the case and he just may do it by making a case for the democratic party. so he's going to have a big prominent role at the convention. i'm sure you think this is great. but is there some concern that you got to haul in, you know, a retro president to boost up the one? >> no. i mean, my party right now has an embarrassment of riches in terms of talent where the president -- >> they're not crazy about each other. >> that's right. >> the fact they asked him to come and do this tells you
something about this state that president obama's campaign is in. >> they focused on the '08 convention and nobody thought barack obama was overshadowed by anybody. i'm very close to president clinton. he strongly supports president obama. this is just great. the interesting thing is why the republicans who actually have a lot of talent, will they hide their talent? will sarah palin have -- she's a great speaker. i don't agree with her or anything. she's an electric fiing speaker. will rick santorum speak? he should. romney has a lot of talent, i bet he's too chicken to tap that talent and obama is not. >> we have time to decide who's going to speak at the convention. it's going to be a great convention as it was in '08. here's my take on the clinton thing. clearly the obama campaign is in trouble. they need someone that's going to help rally the base and get people fired up. the problem is clinton will go in there and i covered him as a journalist, he's going to go in there and talk about himself. that's great. he's going to rally the base and get people fired up. you cannot deny the fact he's going to remind people during
his time as president we had economic prosperity and we have just the opposite now. there's going to be the comparison of, yeah, he's good and firing people up, but we are far from the clinton years in terms of the economy. >> alice stewart, paul begala, we'll have you back. thank you guys so much. something new is feeding the media frenzy at chick-fil-a. standby for an update on the nationwide counter demonstration by same sex couples. also, people are asking who's the western looking man having fun with north korea's new leader? we'll clear up the mystery. you see us, at the start of the day. on the company phone list that's a few names longer. you see us bank on busier highways. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work.
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gay rights activists launch a kissing crusade against chick-fil-a. mary snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room." mary, what do you have? >> hi there, candy. supporters of same sex marriage are holding a kiss-in today asking same sex couples to kiss in front of chick-fil-a restaurants nationwide. they're protesting the company's president who recently expressed his support of traditional marriage only. now, today's protest follows chick-fil-a's appreciation day on wednesday. tons of supporters lined up to eat at the restaurant resulting in what the company says are record sales. tropical storm ernesto is now moving through the caribbean. the national hurricane center says it could become a hurricane by the end of the weekend and pass near or just south of jamaica. packing winds up to 50 miles an hour and expected to bring up to three inches of rain. and a one-two punch for china. two tropical cyclones have
slammed the country one after the other dumping heavy rain. one hit the eastern part of the country. the other farther north. hundreds of thousands of people were forced to evacuate coastal areas. candy. >> thanks, mary. we have more strange images coming out of north korea. they sparked a new mystery about who has the ear of the country's new leader. now that mystery's been solved. cnn's brian todd is working the story for us. what did you find out? >> we could turn this into a game show and call it who's with kim. the images from north korea so bizarre you would think it's a hollywood parody if they didn't come from north korea. take this latest one. last week this picture released of north korea's new young leader kim jong-un on a roller coaster at an amusement park in pyongyang. wait a minute, who in the world is this guy? look at this guy right here. we were all abuzz when we saw a mysterious westerner, the only
one among a group of howling and laughing north koreans. it was later revealed the man is barnaby jones and is an official with the british embassy in pyongyang. not the tv detective from the '70s. he works at the british embassy. britain and north korea have had a softening of relations lately. this photo seemingly designed to illustrate that the young kim is opening up his country a little bit and is a little bit less militaristic than his father. now, this all -- move these pictures aside. this all follows pictures we saw about a month ago, kim with a mysterious young woman. there was speculation that she was the lead singer of a north korean pop band. but last week a south korean lawmaker briefed by intelligence officials said it's not the singer but a woman named ri sol that he married three years ago. the woman was with kim at an event that gave us another terrific image from north korea.
this was a disney-themed musical production. the walt disney company said they should not have been using those outfits and characters and did so without the company's permission. candy, any litigation that might come from that won't go well for either side. >> i've got a great idea for a reality show here. you're inspiring me. listen, there's some family history here. strange images that get blasted out from north korea to the world on occasion. >> absolutely are. we're going to go back about three years. who can forget this image bill clinton in august of 2009 traveled to north korea to help secure the release of two jailed american journalists. that brought out this picture of a smiling kim jong-il, the current leader's late father, next to a bill clinton clearly not smiling. now, bill clinton, as we all know smiles about every photo opportunity he gets. but at theime analysts told us of a code among western officials that it doesn't make you look so good if you're seen in a publicly released photograph smiling next to a repressive dictator who has a
reputation for torture and killing his own people. >> yeah. not a good photo-op. even these are sort of humorous looking pictures, the ones on the rides. but there's some substance to them, yes. >> there is substance. it has to do with actually the images of kim jong-un and the overall story about him that emanates from all of this. you know, kim jong-un as we know took power in recent months. analysts say all of these images that we're seeing here are part of an effort by kim jong-un to portray himself and his count in a better light to show a more opening and friendly side. experts say it's still a huge question whether this 29-year-old leader -- he's only 29 -- whether he's really going to be able to accomplish that kind of reform or whether the old guard from his family's regime is going to win out and keep north korea a very hostile, closed and of course as always a very strange place, candy. >> in the meantime the pictures are worth talking about. thanks so much, brian todd, appreciate it. >> absolutely. it's not just chick-fil-a. other major companies also take a religious stand.
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a famous former athlete is asking for public help in solving a kidnapping mystery that hit close to home. baseball star cal ripken looking for clues in the bizarre abduction of his mother. our cnn crime and justice correspondent joe johns has more. first of all, his mother is safe and has been at home for some time. but what's the latest on this? >> from the start, candy, this has really been a story fit for a detective novel. today a new chapter opened when police started the star power of baseball legend and hall of
famer cal ripken to try to catch the bad guy. former baltimore orioles star cal ripken, jr., is asking the public to help find the man who abducted his mother last week. >> i would encourage all of you to call in and report what you know. >> reporter: ripken and authorities are looking for this unnamed suspect captured by a security camera at a suburban maryland walmart hours after he allegedly forced 7-year-old vy ripken from her home at gunpoint and drove her around in her own car for almost 24 hours. she was found tied up in the back of her car a few hundred yards from her house. but so far that video along with around 60 tips given to authorities has not been enough to track him down. which is why police are looking for more information. they've circulated a wanted poster complete with a sketch of the suspect, put up billboards and offered a $2,000 reward for tips. it's clear police are searching for answers. >> it's bizarre. doesn't seem to be rhyme or
reason to it. most abductions are parent or child or some kind of a family relationship or somebody knows somebody and something going on there. but this is just bizarre. >> reporter: one of the things we do know or at least we think we know is that the guy who did this seemingly came prepared to tie somebody up. >> the materials used to bind her were brought there. so there was -- there's a lot of evidence that shows there was somewhat of a plan or plan and had to be premeditated. >> reporter: even after being restrained for almost a day, ripk ripken's mother did not have any physical injuries. but she's so rattled from the experience she's been staying away from her home. the place where it started and the place where cal ripken grew up. >> she's affected, no doubt about it. don't know when she will go back. but certainly right now she's not back in her house yet. >> and we still don't know whether vy ripken was targeted because of who she is or if the suspect had been planning to ask
for ransom. police say he never did that, by the way. police said that during the 24 hours she was missing they're not sure where vy ripken was taken and wouldn't answer questions about the suspect's alleged use of the victim's credit cards along the way. a lot of information we still got to get yet. >> just a wild story. and locally here obviously we've been paying a lot of attention to it. >> everybody's sort of glued to this one. strange. >> absolutely. well, hopefully they'll get to the bottom of it at some point. thanks, joe. just about everyone has a cell phone or a smartphone. but is anyone out there happy with them? stay tuned, somebody is finally asking. but next, we'll hear from a man whose legs were sampled by a hungry shark.
more new pictures from that massive wildfire in oklahoma. mary snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories. mary, what's the latest? >> well, candy, in oklahoma today they're enduring brutal heat, high winds and now a wildfire. there are already evacuations and anticipating more. red cross crews are setting up shelter right now at the city hall in noble, oklahoma. that's just outside oklahoma city. a man who narrly escaped a shark attack is out of the hospital. chris myers says he's lucky to be alive. he was swimming off the shores of cape cod when he felt something in the water. >> we were having trouble getting to the sand bar, so we decided to turn around and swim back. just after we decided to do that i felt a huge bite on my leg. and i was quite sure it was a shark. that was my first thought. i felt like my leg was caught in a vice. and i kicked very hard with my free leg, with my right leg, and i was able to -- or the shark
decided i wasn't tasty or something good happened and he let me go. and i guess j.j. heard me scream. about then the shark surfaced right between the two of us. so we were probably five or six feet apart. and the shark came up right between us. and we could see his whole back, his dorsal fin. he looked kind of dark brown. to me he looked kind of dark blue or dark black to my son. my first thought was he's probably not a great white. but from all we've heard, we've been talking to some shark experts and their best guess seems to be it was a great white shark and they're white on the bottom but not on the top. >> incredible. myers has several puncture wounds in his legs and 47 stitches. he's the first person to be attacked by a great white shark in massachusetts waters in 76 years. and does your smartphone drop calls? is the internet slow?
well, you're not alone. a new survey says many of us are frustrated with cell service. more than 70% reported having dropped calls occasionally. almost the same amount complained about unwanted calls or spam or slow download speeds. but we can't live without our smartphones. nearly nine out of ten adults in the u.s. have one. >> can we go back to the shark for a second? >> how incredible is that? >> this guy gets bit by a shark, it surfaces between him and his son, he knows he's been bitten by the shark. and my first thought he says is, well, it's not a great white. i just don't think that would have been my first thought. but, hey, you know, brave guy. >> and he seemed so calm even re-telling that story. >> that's pretty amazing. scares me listening to it. >> yeah. >> mary snow, thanks very much. coming up in our next hour, heavy weapons seized from the regime by syrian rebels. will they tip the balance of the country's civil war? plus, a rover's dangerous decent
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>> all things considered, i think the peaches look good. >> reporter: the peaches themselves may be smaller due to the drought, but the demand is still high. which is why wholesale prices are up by almost 50% over last year. and they taste better. >> so when these peaches are rotten, we don't have the rains to come in here and take the sugar away. so that's a plus is being able to have this fruit at its highest maximum amount of sugar, which is a good thing. >> reporter: so if i understand you, then the less rain means that a peach like this could be smaller but is going to be sweeter and tastier. >> that's right. >> reporter: peach fans aren't the only ones smiling about the drought. in nearby marshalville, georgia, there is something else growing in this harvest field. >> is that going good for you? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: a massive collection of pipes, spigots and sprayers will become a crop-size sprinkling system. they rotate ever so slowly in a giant arc around a central pump
tied to an underground well, hence the name pivots. elton sharp's been selling pivots since the '70s. recently thanks to the drought business has doubled. >> we have put in a lot of pivots in the last five years for people that never did have it before. >> reporter: systems like these can easily cost more than $100,000 each. even so jim reed says these days farmers would have a better chance gambling in las vegas than betting on nature. >> the cost of production has gone up and the risk or the amount of money you had invested in an acre of land is increased, then the necessity of irrigation became greater. >> reporter: which is why reid has crews working close to 12 hours a day, six days a week just to keep up with demand. thanks to the worst drought in half a century, whether it's peaches or pivots, both are finding business pretty sweet.
turning back to peaches for the moment, it is the peach state after all, this season here is wrapping up about two to three weeks early because the growing season started two to three weeks earlier due to the mild winter. even so, these peaches may be smaller, but it's going to be a pretty delicious harvest. candy. you're in "the situation room." happening now, new action from the united nations as the violence in syria spins out of control. just ahead, why some critics argue it's too little too late. plus, it's a place where not one inch of skin can be exposed. cnn suits up for exclusive access inside the epicenter of a deadly ebola outbrea and gay rights activists around the country seal their bold message to chick-fil-a with a kiss. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm candy crowley. and you're in "the situation room."
the bloodshed worsens in syria prompting grave concern inside the u.n. general assembly today issued a strong resolution not only slamming the actions of the syrian government, but also the security council's failure to deal with the crisis. this amid reports of 120 people killed across the country just today. at least 72 of them believed to be in another deadly massacre. we want to go straight to our brian todd joining us with more. brian. >> candy, this is an all-out chaotic fight in syria right now. the calvary is not on the way. the u.n. and west unable to step in right now. and now the syrian rebels have weapons that can cause even more bloodshed. the battles are growing uglier
and more contentious. syrian rebels slugging it out with government forces near damascus and aleppo. rebel factions now have some heavy armament on their side including tanks and heavy guns captured from the syrian army. not all are serviceable, but the rebels used some against the army this week near aleppo. how did they capture them? >> this regime tools are very coward. and once they feel the heat from the freedom fighters, they just desert their tanks. >> reporter: a retired syrian army general, he left the military a long time ago but knows it well. he now supports the opposition forces. i asked him if the newly seized tanks might tip the balance for the rebels. >> no, not at all. the regime still have something around 4,000 tanks. so capturing 40 or 50 or 60 will not make any difference. >> reporter: he says if the
rebels get more sophisticated anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapons, those would make more of a difference. what's not making a huge difference right now, the united nations. the security council could not agree on tough resolutions against syria. and special envoy kofi annan quit in exasperation. >> when the syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger pointing and name calling in the security council. >> reporter: that ineffectiveness in syria draws grim comparisons. there as in bosnia and rwanda in the 1990s. analyst says sometimes the u.n. makes things worse. how does it contribute to problems in situations like this? >> one way is by creating the impression that somebody's going to do something about a problem. whatever that problem may be, it's a humanitarian disaster on
the one hand, or cases like this it's acts of aggression often genocide and in the end can almost never do anything. >> reporter: a u.n. spokesman responds. >> but when the u.n. security council is united, like they were last year in libya, it can be very effective. in libya the security council was able to halt a defensive that could have killed tens of thousands of people. >> he also cites conflicts in lebanon and ethiopia and in congo where the u.n. was able to ratchet down tensions on the ground with use of peace keepers, humanitarian aid teams and peace negotiators, candy. >> let me get back to the weaponry for a minute. you say the rebels now have syrian government tanks and some other equipment. i'm reminded of those pictures in libya where we saw some of the rebels take over some of the equipment and they were shooting
ground to air missiles in the wrong direction. >> right. >> do these rebels know how to operate some of this heavy duty equipment? >> general akil says every man in syria has to undergo two years of military training, military service. so he says many of them do have some rudimentary knowledge of that and how to operate tanks. the question now a lot of analysts are saying a lot of these tanks are in pretty bad shape. so the effectiveness will be limited. we'll see what they can do with some of this equipment. >> some better than none but nonetheless. thanks so much, brian todd. appreciate it. joining us now to talk more about the crisis in syria, an drew tabler, a senior fellow at the washington institute and author of the new book "in the lion's den," andrew, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> what can owe you tell us? >> there's an intense battle going on between the rebels who claim about more or a third of the city. the rebels have thrown
everything they can at aleppo including pulling military units out of key areas and elsewhere in the country. it's a real battle. it's syria's largest city. and it's there that the regime hopes to put a lid on this ramadan offensive. >> when we hear this will be the turning point, aleppo is the key. do you mean the war will either continue here or end here? is that what that means? >> no. it's just that this is one of the flare ups and every year during ramadan since the beginning of the uprising violence has spiked. this is one thing i think most of the international powers were looking to and that it's been a real problem because as some of your earlier commenters have said, the u.n.'s been unable to step in and unable to come up with a solution to this. >> let's say the u.n. was able to come up with something, which obviously they are unable because the security council is so split, but assad is not going to listen to the security council, is he? >> absolutely not. >> that's always been sort of a function with absolutely no
meaning. >> exactly. it's actually pretending to do something when you're actually not doing something. and i think this is where kofi annan was wrong. i don't think it's russia and america's fault for this. the origin of the conflict is inside syria. that's where the political problem is. and one side has to win over the other. and the united states backs the opposition. as do the western countries. and now we're going to have to go that route by directly backing them. >> listen, thank you so much, andrew tabler, always good to get your perspective. >> my pleasure. after slogging through a grueling schedule of three and four-day workweeks, members of congress finally have thrown in the towel and headed off on vacation. senior congressional correspondent dana bash took a peek at the long and unfinished to-do list they left behind. dana, you say lawmakers can point to at least some accomplishments. >> reporter: that's right, candy. maybe at this point people have such a low view of congress their biggest accomplishment is them leaving town. but i just want you to take a look at this. you know where i am. i'm in the russell building rotunda. you've been here many, many times.
it is usually where we see senators, reporte, a lot of hubbub, this is what it looks like right now. empty, a ghost town. everybody is gone and will be for five weeks. as you said, congress did leave a lot of unfinished business on the table. be hold a familiar ritual of the modern republic. the congressional bolt for the exits. five weeks home for summer sun and campaign craziness. instead of boasting about accomplishments, bipartisan hand wringing. >> i am disappointed, perplexed and somewhat confused. >> there's so much unfinished business. >> the american people are probably more poll larized now than any time since i've been here. and as a result we see that polarization reflected here in the halls of congress. >> this is a moment of d dispointment that i really cannot conceal. >> reporter: joe lieberman was talking about a classic example
of cyber security, legislation national security experts call critical from protecting america in espionage and cyber attacks. stuck in the senate. that's just one stalled bill on a countless list of others from food stamps and drought relief to reform for the cash-strapped post office. legislation left on the table that really affects people's jobs and lives. to be fair, congress did get some important things done so far this year like extending federal aid for student loans and sanctioning iran. but it's not just our imagination. it has been far less productive than in the past. take a look at this. so far this 112th congress has enacted 151 laws. that's fewer than half the 385 laws enacted in the last congress. and a lot fewer than the 460 laws enacted before that. a key reason this congress is less productive, divided government. more laws passed in the last decade when one party controlled all of congress. of course more laws don't
necessarily mean better government. even so by historical standards this congress is slow to move legislation even issues both parties want to tackle. they can't find compromise. >> there certainly is plenty blame to go around. >> reporter: she was talking about cyber security. but it could also be said about most of congress' large stack of unfinished business. one retiring republican says he still has hope in a colorful if not alarming way. >> it's a little bit like an alcoholic in my mind. i think the place has to hit bottom before they realize they got a problem and begin to fix it. >> reporter: and there will be a lot to fix when members of congress return here in the fall. some of the biggest issues facing the country really, candy, when it comes to the economy and the american people's wallets, the biggest issue i think we're going to be talking about a lot of course is the bush-era tax cuts, whether or not they should be extended and if so for whom. candy. >> that's one thing about to-do lists, they never get any
shorter. dana bash, thanks so much. same sex couples are converging on chick-fil-a restaurants around the country. and sealing their relationships with a kiss. plus, a mixed jobs report leaves some americans scratching their heads. find out what it could mean for you. and why apple is now revealing that the launch of its popular iphone series almost never happened. ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays]
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cnn's george howell is keeping track of today's turnout. hey, georg >> reporter: candy, well, if you use the facebook fan page as any indication, what we saw on wednesday, the more than 600,000 plus people who showed up for chick-fil-a appreciation day much bigger than what we saw today some 13,000 people signed up for today's kiss-in. but you saw these crowds here in atlanta, georgia, we saw crowds. saw crowds all across the country. but here in atlanta we spoke with one person who organized a rally and also tried to invite the ceo, the president of chick-fil-a to her house to talk about the issue. that didn't happen. but she told us why she held the rally. take a listen. >> i'm sure that he will find that we share some of the same kind of values. so i think it would open his eyes to understand that, you know, just because we're, you know, a lesbian couple that, you know, we're really not any different than him and mrs.
kathy. >> the numbers weren't quite as big but the goal is still to start a conversation. and they did that at many chick-fil-as across the country. we also heard from chick-fil-a, got a response from them about how they were handling this. and i want to read this to you, candy. chick-fil-a, they say, we appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time. our goal is simple, to provide great food, genuine hospitality and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with the chick-fil-a. while that happened today, we did see one isolated incident at a chick-fil-a in torrence, california, we saw graffiti on an napkin. that was not the goal of many that came together. thousands came together to share a different message, candy. >> as far as we know, george, is the same sex issue, tied to chick-fil-a, is it now over? the demonstrations done and both sides feel they have their say? or is more in store? >> reporter: well, when you talk
to people especially people who showed up on wednesday, they say they will continue to support this company. keep in mind on wednesday the company saw record profits. they would not give specifics on the numbers. it is a private company. but they said they made a lot of money that da and you can also bet that people who oppose the company will stop eating there and continue to share their message. >> thanks so much, appreciate it. we have proof that concealed weapons can sometimes stop criminals. some would-be jewelry store robbers just found that out the hard way. we also have a story that might inspire you to finally clean up your attic. you're in "the situation room." a speed bump! [ wife ] a beached whale! lawn clippings! a mattress. a sausage link. mermaid. honey!? driftwood. come on, you gotta help us out here a little. [ male announcer ] febreze eliminates odors and leaves carpets fresh. ♪
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we're learning more about the arrest of three suspected terrorists in spain. mary snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room." mary, what have you got? >> well, candy, it's being called one of spain's biggest operations against al qaeda. two of the men were arrested
wednesday. the third man was detained yesterday. authorities say they had enough explosives to blow up a bus and were actively planning an attack inside spain or elsewhere in europe. they believe france may have been the first target because the suspects were headed there. apple's iphone launched a revolution of smartphone technology, but it almost didn't happen. apple's head of design says the company almost gave up on the iphone several times because there were too many design flaws in early models. they eventually worked out the kinks. the first iphone launched in 2007. since then apple has sold more than 200 million of them. five would-be robbers in california got an unexpected surprise when a 65-year-old woman chased them from a jewelry store with a gun. take a look. surveillance video shows the men entering the store with bags. seconds later the gun-toting owner starting firing. the men run for the door. the get-away driver took off so fast three of the guys were left behind.
they were picked up a block away. police are still looking for the suspects. and a rare discovery leads to a huge payoff for an ohio family. carl kissner was cleaning out an attic when he came across vintage baseball cards in mint condition that belonged to his grandfather. they sold at auction yesterday for, get this, more than $500,000. family spreading the wealth. the money will be split among 20 cousins. never happens in my family, candy. >> i'll check my attic tonight. i know i have baseball cards, i just don't think they're that valuable. my grandchildren maybe will think so. thanks so much, mary snow, appreciate it. both president obama and mitt romney say today's unemployment numbers prove their case. in a minute we'll consider the rest of us. has the economic recovery stalled? we also have an exclusive report from the epicenter of the latest ebola outbreak. for you, dear ♪ ♪ anything 'cause you mean everything to me ♪
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and use one of our certified repair shops, your repairs are guaranteed for life. call... to switch, and you could save hundreds. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? a mixed bag of news for the economy today. the labor department reporting a net gain of 163,000 jobs. while unemployment inched up from 8.2% to 8.3%. president obama attempted to assure the country things are right on track while his arch rival on the campaign trail pounced. >> it's another hammer blow to the struggling middle class families of america because the president has not had policies that put american families back
to work. >> joining me now, alan krueger, chairman of the president's council of economic advisors. thanks for being here. mitt romney has called these numbers out today a hammer blow to the struggling middle class. my question to you is, the romney campaign repeatedly points out that we have now had 42 consecutive months of unemployment over 8 pbl%. that's what he's referring to in this. can you react to that? >> reporter: you know, candy, if you asked the 163,000 people who found a job in july, i think they would see it differently. the economy was in terrible shape when president obama came to office. we were losing over 800,000 jobs a month. we've now added jobs for 29 months in a row, 4.5 million private sector jobs over that period. so we're digging our way out of a very deep hole. the president is going to continue pressing for the kinds
of policy actions that will help. but we are headed in a better diren than we were in. >> when you have 42 consecutive months of 8% unemployment, would you, as an economist, look at that and say that's not good? >> well, certainly the unemployment rate is too high. because of the recession the unemployment rate pique epeaked little over 10%. we want to see it come down further. that's why the president proposed the american jobs act part of which passed. in addition he would like more investment and infrastructure to put more workers back to work and teachers jobs, first responders, to keep on the job. so there are steps congress could take to bring down the rate of unemployment right now. >> when you look at the state of the economic recovery right now, i think the fed said that the recovery was decelerating. certainly when you look since january there are some signs that recovery is stalling. would you agree with that
characterization? >> you know, recoveries don't move in straight lines. we've added over a million jobs so far this year. this recovery from the beginning was going to face headwinds because of problems in europe, because of struggles that state and local governments were going through, because households were repairing their balance sheet because we oversold homes during the boom years. so i think all of that needs to be taken into account. nonetheless, over the last 29 months we've added private sector jobs each month, total 4.5 million as i mentioned. >> so take all of that into account. and you describe to me what you think the state of the economic recovery is. >> we're digging our way out of the deepest economic and financial crisis in the post-war period. >> right. is recovery strong? is it weak? is it stalled? is it decelerating as the fed has said? >> i try to avoid adjectives.
there have been some big revisions in recent months. i think if you step back and say which direction is the economy headed, is continuing to expand, we have had economic growth now for 12 quarters in a row. we'd like to see it faster of course. that's why the president keeps pressing for the kinds of actions like extending the middle class tax cuts that will provide more certainty and help the economy to continue to expand, put more people back to work. >> let me ask you about consumer confidence, which had been on the rise since last september. in the past couple of months it is going down. clearly americans look at the economy and feel that something is wrong. why do you think confidence has gone down? >> you know, i think confidence is going to move up and down just like other economic numbers. i think one thing that the american people can be confident about is that president obama's going to continue fighting for the types of policies that are going to strengthen the economy, make the economy work better for the middle class, that's why he
had been pressing for congress to extend the middle class tax cuts to provide more confidence, security going forward. that's why he's been pressing for components of american jobs act that were not passed such as investing more in infrastructure, helping state and local governments keep teachers and first responders on the job. he's going to continue to do the kinds of things that can strengthen this recovery. >> final question, let me ask you, there are about a million americans who are long-term unemployed who are going to lose their benefits at the end of this year. congress sort of made that move thinking that perhaps a recovery was beginning to take hold. do you think given the past several months of not very great job growth that congress should look back and see whether long-term unemployment ought to be extended again? >> i think there will be time to consider policies like that as we get closer to the end of the year. >> do you think it's a good idea? >> no. as i said, i think that ought to be evaluated as we get closer to
the end of the year. we can see where the economy is at that point and where it's headed. >> alan krueger, chairman of the council of economic advisors. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. and joining us now to respond, former new hampshire governor and romney campaign advisor john sununu. welcome, governor. let me turn this argument now on its head. for 29 straight months there has been job growth in the u.s. economy totalling 4.5 million jobs. that's a pretty good record. >> if they had kept up in having job growth that just kept up with the growth of population, they'd have about 400,000 more jobs than that. that record is a failure. and the comments you're hearing from mr. krueger and the president and the white house are numb and dumb. they're numb because they're insensitive to the 25 million people that are unemployed and underemployed. and they're dumb because they're deceptive. there were 162,000 jobs created primarily by the artifact of a
seasonal adjustment. there were 175,000 fewer people working last month than the month before. these people -- if he wants to brag about 163,000 phantom new workers, the 152,000 who lost their job are not very happy to hear what mr. krueger and the president have to say about trying to spin this as good news. >> nonetheless, governor, when the president took office we began a march toward 10% unemployment. it was much higher as almost 2 points higher. we were hemorrhaging jobs in january that he took over. their argument is it was much worse than many of us expected. and that is going to take a while. >> yeah, but he knew then that what he should be having now is 5.5%, 5.6% unemployment. he said that himself when he took that job. >> well, i think his economic advisors prior to taking over had mentioned that. but there were lots of caveats.
nonetheless, continue. >> at this time in a recovery, a 42, 43, 45 months from the bottoming out you should be having 600,000 to 800,000 jobs created. that's what happened when reagan got things turned around. this is unbelievably bad. and the president doesn't even meet with his jobs council. it's 200 days since the president met with his jobs council. now, my personal theory is he doesn't go there because jeff said he wasn't going to vote for him this time. so he's in a peek. mr. president, the phone number at the white house is 202-456-1414. the operators there are fantastic. they'll connect you to your job council. >> okay. let me ask you, governor, if the economy is so lousy and the president has done such a bad job and in fact he does have some harsh economic figures that no president in modern history has been re-elected on, why is he leading in some of these key swing states mitt romney
sometimes by six points, in pennsylvania, in florida, in ohio, why is this race looking like mitt romney is behind? >> he's leading in the race where the polls have an imbalance of democrats to republicans of about a dozen. if you look at the polls that have the right weighting like ras mussen and gallup, the respected polls, this president is losing and his popularity is caving in and he's in real trouble. that's why he's asking puppets like harry reid to go to the floor of the senate and tell us he hears voices that mitt romney didn't pay his taxes. that's an outright lie. coming from harry reid that the investor's business daily had a nice little article today talking about los angeles times, and other nevada paper's exposes on him pocketing a million dollars on a land deal and the problems with his kids with lobbying in washington when he was majority leader.
>> before we turn this into a harry reid bashing, let me just say we don't know. he says -- he's an honorable man, he says he was told by someone at bain that mitt romney did not pay taxes. now, we've heard mitt romney, an honorable man, say i did pay taxes. but, governor, there's a way to fix this. >> yeah. i know. harry reid probably heard it from the mirror when he was shaving. >> nonetheless, do you wish this conversation would go away? if you want to talk about the economy, wouldn't the conversation about mitt romney's tax returns go away if he just put them out there? >> no. they'll go away when the public starts paying attention in the campaign. it happens about a week or two before the republican convention. people are starting to understand that president obama's theory of fixing things is to do the same thing over and over and over and over again and hope the result will be different. it's not going to change until you change the president. the public is beginning to understand that.
and the last 70, 80 days is when a campaign really focuses in on something like that. >> i need a two-word answer here, governor. everyone's chiming in on the vp. the number two in the slot portman, jeb bush says marco rubio. who would john sununu like to see on the ticket? >> any of the above on the list. they're all good people. >> just a name. how about a name? who do you like? >> a name? >> yeah. >> how about ronald reagan. >> okay. now we're really in lala land. >> i know nothing about the vp thing. honestly. i'm happy with portman, i'm happy with macdonald. i'm happy with rubio. all the people on the list are good people. and governor romney's going to pick somebody that could be president. >> governor sununu, thank you as always. appreciate it. >> thank you. we are about to put a human face on today's unemployment numbers. after four years of looking, a california man finally found his new job. you'll also see what happens when not one but two hurricanes hit at the same time.
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a lot of numbers get tossed around when the candidates talk about jobs. but behind those numbers, real people. cnn's kyung lah has been following one man's ordeal of unemployment. and finally finding a job. kyung. >> reporter: well, it's been four long years, not just for the president who wants to be re-elected but for the people who have been looking for work. we have found a man who has been unemployed all of obama's first term. and he says for him it's been quite a long journey. the start of the day and a new full-time job for ernie, these first steps on the los angeles airport tarmac have been nearly four years in the making.
how long were you unemployed? >> i'm going on four years november 6th. >> reporter: four years? >> yes. >> reporter: barack obama started his new job as president a short time after ernie lost his job making big bucks as a mortgage broker. cnn met him as a subprime mortgage crisis wreaked havoc on the economy and his own career. >> driving expensive cars, having expensive suit, now i'm just like everybody else -- >> reporter: he not only lost his job but his home and his marriage. he moved in with his mother. he went to job fairs and networks sending out hundreds of resumes. he started his own computer consulting company, but it never took off. increasingly desperate, he put this ad on craigslist stating bluntly, i need a job. last year still unemployed he hit downtown los angeles
carrying a sign. >> but i'm so tired of collecting unemployment. >> i just think there's a lot of us walking here who know we're not that far away. >> yes. >> reporter: last week he wa at rock bottom. >> i had something to eat. didn't have money for gas. i look under my car seat and i had $1.65. >> reporter: that paid for the gas that took him to meet anna and she gave him a job as a supervisor for her cleaning company lax. >> he deserves it. everyone deserves to work. have you ever been unemployed? there's a whole lot ernies out there. >> reporter: he says political intentions may surprise you. who are you going to vote for? >> obama. >> reporter: why not vote for
mitt romney? >> i don't think he's with the people. he's a person that we can -- >> reporter: he says obama less distasteful and romney deserves more time. he says his long jobless ordeal shows him there's no easy path out of unemployment and no quick fix for this country's sluggish economy. and if you take a close look at the figures released by the labor department today, 185,000 people are moving off that classification of long-term unemployed. but that is just a drop in the bucket, candy. there's still millions who have been out of work for six months or longer, candy. >> kyung lah, you got me with that one. what a great, great story. i feel like everyolitician should sit down and watch that before they go out and give a campaign speech. thank you so much, appreciate it. the tropical storm season is getting busy. there's a new one in the atlantic. and we'll show you the disaster left behind by a pair of storms in the pacific. and a cnn excluse from the area where doctors are trying to
contain the latest outbreak of the deadly ebola virus. s mountas of morocco. have you seen this road we're going down? ♪ there is no relief for the brakes. we'll put them to the test today. all right, let's move out! [ ross ] we're pushing the ats brakes to the limit. going as fast as we can down the hill. we are making these sharp turns, slamming on the brembo brakes. [ derek ] it's like instant response, incredibly consistent. this is the challenge, machine vs. mountain. [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats. ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays]
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a race against time in uganda to contain the spread of a deadly ebola outbreak that's now killed 16 people and may have infected hundreds of others. health officials are concerned about a patient being treated who just escaped the hospital at the center of the crisis. cnn's david mckenz put his own life on the line to get inside. >> reporter: this is the epicenter of an ebola outbreak. we've been given exclusive access. the first thing we found out is our safety protection isn't enough. the reason this isn't acceptable
is because of this cotton-like material. and obviously fluids, which are a key risk in contracting ebola, can get sort of soaked-in to the material. let's keep going. what we've got is -- >> within here is various bits -- >> reporter: the virus is so deadly you need extreme protection. inside the kind of restricted area, no matter what you're doing you have to wear something like this. >> yes. >> reporter: plastic overalls, aprons, hoods and a face mask, not a single inch of skin can be exposed. touching fluids, a patient or even an object can put you at risk. we're inside kigadi hospital, when the first case was confirmed in late july, the rest of the patients fled and health workers were some of the first to die. >> early on in the epidemic they're in contact with patients and they don't know it's ebola,
they may catch it themselves and transmit it to the community. if you if you can't do that. >> reporter: within 24 hours, doctors without borders is on the ground. there's no cure for ebola. up to 90% of people that catch it will die. managing the fear factor is key. >> we use lots of clor nated water. >> reporter: she says it is important to stay calm entering the high risk zone. this is the inner most is he clugs zone. the sickest too sick to get close enough to film. there's no treatment. all the doctors can do is give care, all the patients can do is hope. doctors wear protection for themselves and to contain the outbreak. >> the main objective when one of these outbreaks lasts is to
contain the spread because we cannot give treatment to the patient and we cannot give any prevention, so we must contain the spread of the disease. >> reporter: we are allowed only a few minutes inside and have to leave. it's the front line of the fight against the ebola outbreak. so no risk is worth taking, the goal is to stop the spread in uganda and even beyond. david mckenzie, uganda. china was hit by not one but two hurricanes, tropical cyclones as they're called in that part of the world came ashore the same time. as kristie lu stout shows us, disastrous flooding has already started. >> reporter: it is an unusual weather situation on the china coast with not one but two tropical cyclones battering the
coast. they made landfall within hours of each other. strong winds and torrential rainfall continue, chinese authorities are bracing for heavy flooding that's sure to come. tropical storm made landfall thursday as a typhoon, packing 126 kilometer winds. the other came ashore friday morning, after slamming ashore in taiwan early thursday with typhoon strength winds. almost 7,000 people had to evacuate in taiwan. some homes are underwater. heavy rains left mud, devastation, danger in their wake. this camera shows a man swallowed by a sinkhole in taipei, the capital. the heavy rain made the ground unstable. rescuers managed to pull him out but he died from his injuries. in all, five people were killed, 15 injured, two are missing according to the taiwanese
authorities. the storm moved onto the main land overnight. the same storm left 37 dead in the philippines. and china is dealing with them both. the last time two powerful storms hit in such quick succession was 2006. kristie lu stout, cnn. there's also a new tropical storm in the atlantic ocean, ernesto is between puerto rico and south america, heading for the lower gulf of mexico. coming up in the new hour at 6:00 eastern, the reason for mitt romney's in your face message to senate majority leader harry reid today, put up or shut up. next, get ready for nasa's latest spectacular that happens sunday night. [ ross ] we are at the bottom of the earth: patagonia, chile.
this is the first leg of our world challenge with the cadillac ats. this is actually starting to feel real now. [ ross ] this is the perfect place to test the ats's advanced aerodynamics. [ derek ] we've got crosswinds, tailwinds, headwinds. aerodynamics is all about keeping the car planted on the road. you are going to get hit by stuff, so don't freak out. [ screaming with excitement ] and move out now. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats. ♪ the global ready one ? yeah, but you won't need... ♪ hajimemashite. hajimemashite. hajimemashite. you guys like football ? thank you so much. i'm stoked. you stoked ? totally. ... and he says, "under the mattress." souse le matelas.
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monday, nasa's most ambitious martial explorer will be on the red planet surface. the big question, will it be in one piece? here is john zarrella with a preview. >> reporter: eight months in space, 354 million miles traveled. $2.5 billion spent, nearly a decade of work. after all that, it will take only minutes, just minutes, to determine elation or disaster. >> full nights of sleep have eluded me for a couple years now. >> we think about failure every day, we think about how to avoid failure. >> reporter: after nasa's curiosity rover reaches the top of the martial atmosphere, a series of choreographed events will begin to unfold, events never before attempted, so dramatic and defining, the space
agency put together a short movie calling it 7 minutes of terror. that's the amount of time it will take curiosity to come through the atmosphere and either crash or land safely. >> it heats up and glows. 1600 degrees. >> if any one thing doesn't work just right, it is game over. >> reporter: curiosity is huge, the size of a small car. its size meant nasa couldn't use the tried and true landing methods, air bags or shock absorbing legs. on top of that, the rover has to hit a specific spot, one place nasa thinks could have hints of past or present life. that requires a precision landing. on one side, a mountain. on the other, a crater wall. >> to get there safely, though, we need to be able to land on the one big flat spot that sits right at the foot of that mountain, inside the walls of the crater. >> reporter: out of necessity was born the 7 minutes of
terror. curiosity hits the atmosphere at 13,000 miles an hour, steering her way towards the landing site. next, the par chute deploys, slowing curiosity. then rockets fire, aligning curiosity with the landing zone below. finally the sky crane. >> the rover is lowered, below the jet backpack and the two together descend down to the martial surface. >> reporter: engineers say at the end of the day, it is the safest way to get a rover this size on the ground in one piece. every component was tested again and again. >> three, two, one. >> reporter: but from the point curiosity hits the atmosphere, all the scientists and engineers can do is hold their breaths and wait. >> in the end, she'll be on her own. >> reporter: 7 minutes of
terror. jo john czar ella. join me noon eastern for state of the union. right now, "the situation room" continues with kate bolduan. happening now, new unemployment numbers and why they could cost president obama his job. attention protesters. chick-fil-a isn't the only big company promoting religion on the side. and baseball hall of famer cal ripken opens up about his mother's bizarre kidnapping. wolf blitzer is off. i am kate bolduan, you're in "the situation room." every job that's created and lost in this country in the next three months could have an impact on who wins the white
house. today, both democrats and republicans are finding something to seize on in the new jobs report. employers added 163,000 jobs to the u.s. economy in july. more than economists predicted. but the overall unemployment rate unexpectedly went up to 8.3%. >> let's acknowledge we've still got too many folks out there who are looking for work. we've got more work to do on their behalf. not only to reclaim all the jobs lost during the recession but also to reclaim the kind of financial security that too many americans have felt was slipping away from them for too long. >> today we got a new number from the unemployment report. it is another hammer blow to the struggling middle class families of america, because the president has not had policies that put american families back to work in place to get them working again. >> we're breaking down the numbers and the politics, of
course. first to christine romans in new york. >> we took 40 pages of government statistics and boiled it down to this. you can see what's happening in the jobs market. you know the headline. 163,000 jobs created in the month but let's look at it deeper. it is the private sector accounting for the jobs gain. 172,000 jobs in private sector. 9,000 government sector jobs lost, that's why the number is down a little there. look at overall, this is the trend. that's what's important. never make too much out of one month. this is the end of the bush administration, beginning of president obama's administration. millions of jobs lost here. this has been a slow recovery from that jobs devastation. 29 months now of private sector jobs created, two years of jobs created. the summer has been a little weak. now some relief quite frankly it was as many as 163,000 jobs created in the period. some places we saw growth,
27,000 in leisure and hospitality, a sign the consumer might be doing better. manufacturing, 25,000 jobs. what does it mean politically? the white house is focusing on private sector jobs growth. the economy added private sector jobs for 29 straight months for a total of 4.5 million jobs in that period. what is the romney campaign saying? they're focusing on another statistic. we have gone 42 consecutive months with the unemployment rate above 8%. both of them are right. both of them are trying to appeal to voters as you head into the voting booth in november. there are three more jobs reports, kate, until then. >> we will be watching them closely. christine, thank you so much. let's zero in on the unemployment rate and whether it could bring down president obama in november. for that, tom foreman has been looking into that for us. tom, you have looked back at the jobless rate in past presidential election years. what are you finding? >> this is one of the things people looked at, trying to read the tea leaves. how does this line, unemployment
from 1976 to 2008, how does that relate to the ability of one party to win or hold the white house. and there is a trend you can see. we are seeing an indication. look at 1980. ju jimmy carter was in office. lost a bid at re-election with 7.5% unemployment rate. there were a lot of other factors, the hostage crisis, there were many, many things going on, energy concerns. if you look at just that number, look, he loses, 7.5%. why would he lose? maybe this, not the absolute number but the trend line, it was going up when he was trying to get reelected. why do you think that? because if you look here when the trend line is going down and ronald reagan is trying to get reelected after beating jimmy carter here, look what happens, 7.2%. that's very close to the same number jimmy carter had, and yet he won. what's the big difference we look at if we say just
unemployment? trend line up for jimmy carter, trend line down for ronald reagan. so unemployment was getting worse, unemployment was getting better. one thing you can look at as a possibility, reagan passes the baton to george bush, look what happens. unemployment starts to rise. he tries to get reelected. once again, virtually the same number, 7.4%, and he loses. and again, the trend line matters. if it is going better for people out there, they'll tend to keep the same party in office. if it is going worse, they tend to throw them out, aside from other extenuating circumstances, like if you have 9/11 and things like that which can kind of change the equation, kate. generally this is a trend we've seen for decades now. >> and real quickly then, tom, with all of this historical data, what do you think that means for president obama? >> this gets tricky because a lot of the numbers get kind of weird. look at the data for president obama. this is just a general sense of what unemployment has done since he was in office. it was down here, it really
spiked in the first year up around 10% level. then it has crept down, but here is the problem. what do you do with this part of the trend line? what do you do with this, very little up, very little down. it is basically flat. so the voters might go either way, except for this. look where we are, 8.3%. the only president in decades now who has survived with any number like that was ronald reagan, and as you note, his percentage was a full percentage point below this. so we're in uncharted territory. if he can get reelected with these numbers, it will make history. >> fascinating take. tom foreman, thanks for that. a new tug of war today between a republican in congress and the obama administration over e-mails. house oversite committee chairman darrell issa is asking for information about who in the white house is using personal e-mails to conduct official business. bring in dan lothian for more.
issa is going after the white house again. what is this about? >> reporter: he is going after the white house again. he is especially concerned that by the admission that some white house staffers have used their private e-mail accounts for official business. and that that has happened often. so he sends a letter to the white house chief of staff, jack lew, requesting the names of white house staffers that used private e-mails this way, also requesting copies of those e-mails. he is arguing that when it comes to transparency, the american people have a right to know, and in the letter, he is citing comments made by stephanie cutter, the president's deputy campaign manager, used to work here at the white house, she made her comments during an interview here on "the situation room" on wednesday. >> you worked at the white house. was is a common practice? did you all sort of integrate personal and official e-mails, the point being, of course, that white house e-mails are put into the record whereas personal
e-mails are not? >> right. you know, for details on this, i'm going to have to defer to my friends at the white house who are handling this issue, but i can tell you that for everybody working in the white house and everybody all across this country, we all have personal e-mail addresses. for our long standing relationships, they often use those personal e-mail addresses. but at the white house, we are all instructed for official business to forward the e-mails to the white house system. and so that's what we've all done. >> reporter: representative issa is specifically concerned about the fact she said they often use their private e-mails for e-mail accounts for official business. he is requesting the white house to come back to him with information by august 17th. now, we reached out to the white house on this and spokesman eric says they will review the letter and respond as appropriate. he went on to say let's be clear, this is nothing more than a nakedly political taxpayer
effort with partisan interests over an issue white house republicans concede isn't serious. why is it even an issue? white house e-mails are officially entered into the public record, but when you have private e-mail accounts, that does not happen automatically. representative issa says it could create problems if there's litigation or someone requests documents under the freedom of information act. >> dan lothian at the white house, definitely not the end of the latest in the tense relationship between issa and the white house. dan, thanks so much. coming up, the senate's top democrat doesn't seem moved by mitt romney's demand he put up or shut up. and baseball hall of famer cal ripken is trying to crack the case of his mother's bizarre kidnapping. and many supporters of same sex marriage are kissing off chick-fil-a. it is not the only company taking a conservative stand. man: there's a cattle guard, take a right. do you have any idea where you're going ?
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show you some of these amazing pictures from our affiliates, kwor and kotv of wildfires raging in oklahoma they're trying to battle. look at the wall of smoke and fire they're dealing with there. to get the latest on this scary situation, wanto bring in jerry loika from department of emergency management. thank you for getng on the phone with me. tell the viewers, what are you dealing with? >> these are extreme conditions. it is 111 degrees here and we have 13% humidity and the winds are out of the south, 15 to 25 and once the fires escalate, they create their own wind. we can have gusts 40 to 50 miles per hour in close proximity to the fire. the largest is in cleveland
county. just burned out of a small town called noble, and burned into city limits of norman, which is where ou, university of oklahoma is located, although it is considerably east of that. the metro area is not in danger, but there are still homes out there, and there are subdivisions in the wooded areas. >> so have homes been evacuated? six fires, some of them look like scary images of fires getting close. that i am looking at not live pictures, i don't know if you can see it with me, mr. lojka, see a home engulfed in flames there. how many homes have been evacuated and damaged. >> the emergency manager for cleveland county indicated that many, in excess of 25 homes had been destroyed.
because it is moving so quickly, it is impossible to keep up with the count at this point, many, many homes, many out buildings and other structures. one of the other fires burning is near i-40, i-44 excuse me, and we may close that because of smoke. there are two helicopters working in cleveland county. another two helicopters in creek county which is in another part of the state. lots of resources out there. very tough on the firefighters. >> especially in these kind of weather conditions. you said it was 111 degrees right now. you said the fire is moving very fast. i see some pictures of a helicopter picking up some water is what it looks like here. >> right. >> go ahead. >> they use ponds or if they have to go to a local reservoir not too far away, lake
thunderbird is not far to the east from where they are. i'm not exactly sure where they're picking it up, but there are lots of ponds for them to pick it up to. >> you said the fire is moving very fast. that kind of indicates to me you probably are nowhere near a position to say how close you are to containing it, stopping it, preventing it reaching more homes. >> not even close. the firefighters have their work cut out for them. the toughest part of this is that it can't get to the front line because it is such a densely wooded area that they can't get equipment in there to mount some sort of defense. unfortunately the last major road it came to, the wind picks up and will carry the fire, the embers and a fireball of burning material across the road and blow past that road and just continue to move on. so it's a very tough situation for the firefighters. >> absolutely. i am sure a tough situation for anyone in oklahoma watching this
right now. what is your best advice? i am sure your team has been good at reaching out to residents there, but what is your advice for families watching this now and maybe even seeing that helicopter flying over their home? >> they need to be paying attention to what the local fire department in that area is recommending. they're on the ground, know exactly what's happening, where the fire is moving, what direction it's moving because of wind conditions, and if they can smell smoke and looks like it is even moving in their general direction, they need to gather up whatever valuable paperwork and things that they want to collect and they feed to evacuate the area. there's nothing they will be able to do if the fire gets into their particular area to be able to stop it. >> wow. a very dangerous situation for residents of oklahoma as well as a tough, tough situation for all of the men and women you have on the frontlines trying to fight this. jerry lojka from oklahoma
department of emergency management. thanks for jumping on the phone with me. we are going to be following the fire and movements as they come. very scary pictures we're watching there. we'll be right back after this. has an impact on all of us. how can we save these young people's lives? as a police chief, i have an opportunity to affect what happens in a major city. if you want to make difference, you have to have the right education. university of phoenix opened the door. my name is james craig, i am committed to making a difference, and i am a phoenix. visit phoenix.edu to find the program that's right for you. enroll now. by what's getting done. measure commitment the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons.
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taking another look at live pictures coming out of oklahoma, thanks to kfor for pictures of the fast moving wildfire through parts of oklahoma. we are told there were six active fires, emergency management was telling us that before the break. chad myers was nice enough to jump on the phone to try to help me out with some context here, chad. chad, the emergency management was telling me it is 111 degrees
there today. >> that's right. >> that's clearly a huge factor in what they're facing here with the wildfires, right? >> you have to understand the volunteers and workers and firefighters that are in there, they're at 111 to start with. then they're up against a 500 degree fire, if not more, trying to get in there. they have to take breaks. they can't just keep going because literally they get into heat stroke. this started probably 3:00 something eastern time. and we knew the winds were at 20 to 30 miles per hour. so when that happens, you get a big flareup. that makes sparks. think about even when you throw a log on the fire, sparks go up the chimney. they were flying in the air, way ahead of where the fire line was. the firefighters could never get a handle on a line to stop it because the sparks were flying a mile away, starting more fires. that's why we see so many right now. >> chad, when we were speaking with the gentleman with emergency management, he was
saying one of the challenges that people on the frontlines are facing is that it is a densely wooded area the fires are racing through, they can't even get the equipment in now and can't even track how many homes have been destroyed because it is moving so fast. is this, you talked about -- he mentioned it being densely wooded as well as 25 homes they believe being destroyed. what kind of area are we talking about here in terms of these wildfires that they're hitting? >> you're up near lake thunderbird, that last picture there as the camera panned away, that was up where there's a lot of water, lake thunderbird here. talking an area, and these trees aren't real trees, not like cherry or peach trees, they're more in the way of cedars, which as soon as they catch fire, you rub like gasoline. it is explosively flammable. as the fire continues into the wooded area, there are no roads in and out. this is just wild lands area. i lived about 30 miles north of
here up in edmond, and we would go through the wild land areas east of chick a say and guthrie, and there's nothing. there may be five or ten homes per mile, if that. then all of a sudden you get a fire, like a breathing dragon that feeds on it self. the air goes up so fast, like a hot air balloon, air has to come into replace the air going up, and all of a sudden your fire is making its own wind and it's completely out of control. there is no control at this point. the best firefighters can do is try to help stop it burning homes and other structures. and obviously get people and pets and animals, a lot of horses in the area out of the way, literally saving lives at this point. >> absolutely. a very dangerous situation developing before our eyes here in oklahoma. we're going to keep a close eye on this. chad myers, our severe weather expert. thanks, chad, for jumping back on the phone.
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obama highlighting different numbers in the new jobs report, numbers that put their own campaigns in the best light, probably not surprising. let's try to get beyond the spin and take a cold, hard look at the jobs market and how it could influence the presidential race. joined by austan goolsbee, former top economist, and writer for "the wall street journal." thank you for joining me. steven, first to you. both sides as you heard there and all day, they're spinning this report. there's one headline that jumped out to me in bloomberg, said july jobs report is clear as mud. so from your view, clear this up. is it good, bad, indifferent, more of the same. >> there must be an election coming up. you're right. both sides tried to spin it their direction. it is a strange report. the labor department does two surveys of the job market. what happened is they both point opposite directions. one report shows healthy job growth numbers of about 165,000
jobs, pretty decent number. the other report is what's used to calculate the unemployment rate. went up a slight amount. also showed, that report showed loss of 195,000 jobs. as you can see, both are pointing opposite directns. one statistic that concerned me the most was that labor force participation rate which is the percentage of working age people that are actually in the labor market, that fell again. and this has been at a record low for a long time. >> you're taking july as another bad month? >> you know, it is a mixed bag, it really is. >> what's your take, austin? >> i don't think -- i mean, the survey of people that the unemployment rate comes from is well known tab highly variable. in the previous months, that one was showing stronger than the payroll numbers. normally we don't look at that survey because it is too variable.
i think if you started getting jobs on the board like what the payroll survey showed this month, 160,000 plus, if you had that on a sustained basis, we would be well on the right path coming out of the recovery. i said when the numbers are good and when ty're bad, you never want to make too much out of any one month's number because the trends are much more important than any one month. but it was a pretty strong month on the job creation side. >> one of those statistics that's important that concerns a lot of americans, that is this broader definition of unemployment that ticked up a bit to 15%. now, that 15% is the number of people that don't have a job, the number of people that dropped out of the labor force, they could work but are just not looking any more, and the number of people that can't find a full-time job. that's one out of seven americans. i think the big picture is americans think it is a lousy job market, despite the fact we had decent job gains in july. >> austan, everyone makes a big
deal every month about the unemployment rate and the jobs report. what do you think is actually in your view, what do you watch? what's the important economic indicator people should pay more attention to in terms of the health of the economy? >> well, i'd say most economists don't look at the monthly fluctuation in the unemployment rate because you've got this problem of people dropping out of the labor force and it's a survey. so looking at the job creation numbers and most important looking at the gdp and sector numbers. are you seeing broad based growth in the economy, because if you see broad based growth in the economy across different sectors, that's going to over time tend to correlate with the unemployment rate coming down and growth that can be sustained. >> i think we have a pretty good traffic to show gdp over time. if you look at the gdp, the report that just came out, it said that gdp is down to 1.5%
from the period of april to june. to me, sounds like bad news, no? >> that was bad news, that's why the numbers weren't good for those months on the job front. >> what do you think, steve? >> if you put up that graphic again, you see the last three months. what concerns me is the trajectory there, that it is downward. i agree with austan. i think overall growth of the economy is the most important statistic. 1.5% doesn't cut it. it is too slow to get the job growth we need. this is supposed to be a recovery period when a lot of times in a normal recovery, it wouldn't be unusual to see 4 or 5% growth. we're not in a recession by any means. the economy is growing, be it slowly. >> normally when you come out of recession, you can go back to doing what you were doing before the recession, that's what facilitates a fast recovery. this time couldn't do that, it was a bubble led expansion in
the 2000s, we can't go back to building houses and overconsuming. the sad state of affairs for the world economy is that the u.s. projected growth rate now is 2.5%. that's the fastest growth rate of the entire advanced world. so you've got really potentially cataclysmic events in europe, a substantial slow down in a lot of countries of asia, so there's not anybody giving us a helping hand for our recovery, we're kind of pulling along with weights dragging us down, and i think that shows in the data. >> one quick final thought from both of you, we're always running out of time. we have three more jobs reports we're getting before the election. one just days before people head to the polls. steve, first to you. what is your prediction. what are people looking at in terms of the job market as they're heading into this voting booth? >> i don't think there's any question that the unemployment rate number in october is going to be -- which i think comes out
right before the election, i think that's the key variable. i think if people go into that election booth and feel the economy is doing pretty well and they're confident, i think barack obama will win. if they say look, we can't afford four more years of this, the economy is headed the wrong direction, i think he is in big trouble. i think the unemployment numbers in the next three months are absolutely critical to who wins the election. >> do you agree, austan? >> i don't know that i do. if they moved a lot either way, i think they would be critical. if they just hover where they are now, perhaps not. you saw in 2004 actually the first term under george bush, job performance was a bit worse than this. they got one very solid number right before the election. i don't think it made that big of a difference. i think as long as there's stasis, it will be more.
>> thank you both. see you soon. coming up, the senate's top democrat doesn't seem moved by mitt romney's demand he put up or shut up. the public battle between the candidate and harry reid. ( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before, by building on the cisco intelligent network.
today, mitt romney had five harsh words for the top senate democrat. he is telling harry reid to put up or shut up. at issue, reid's public but unsubstantiated claim that romney hasn't been paying taxes. dana bash has been all over this. harry reid isn't backing down. >> reporter: not only is he not backing down. chk this out. this is an e-mail i got from
harry reid to democratic supporters saying mitt romney is waiting for us to apologize, but we're not going to stop asking questions. says click here to support us. yes, he is raising money off this, he is not stopping. mitt romney didn't even try to hide his disgust with harry reid. >> harry reid has to put up or shut up, all right? so harry, who are your sources? >> reporter: what romney wants reid to put up or shut up about, this unsubstantiated claim. >> the word's out he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove that he has paid taxes because he hasn't. >> reporter: let's be clear, that word is out because reid put it out himself, multiple times. says he got the information from someone at bain capital. he refuses to say more than that and refuses to back down, saying in a statement, as i said before, i was told by an extremely credible source he hasn't paid taxes for ten years.
people that make as much money as romney have many tricks at their disposal to avoid paying taxes. romney won't reveal his tax records and insists he paid taxes. >> let me say categorically, i paid taxes every year, and a lot of taxes, a lot of taxes, so harry is simply wrong. >> reporter: the senate leader is known for saying things, like about the smelly tourists. >> as hot as it gets here, you can smell the tourists coming into the capitol. >> reporter: most sources tell cnn it is a calculated strategy to lure romney into responding and getting the what's he hiding tax issue back in the headlines. a trip a half dozen years ago to reid's hometown of search light nevada explained a lot. he grew up in a trailer with no running water, literally fought his way out of poverty as a boxer.
as a politician, he is not afraid to punch below the belt, like when he called president bush a loser and a liar, and told cnn this about then fed chairman alan greenspan. >> i think he is one of the biggest political hacks we have in washington. >> reporter: when he dislikes someone, it fuels political attacks. he said this about john mccain in 2008. >> john has bad temperament, wrong on the economy. >> reporter: this week, he used that romney tax controversy to say back at you, harry. >> i have known senator reid for many, many years. caonly he displaom rather erc behavior. or we should make the point really underscored that harry reid is no back bencher trying to get attention, he is the topmocrat in t unite statenat making substate accusations against theesidential noin heows hough, i am toldom people csetomhi that he was going to get hit by republicans,
even some deocratsllin this all irresponsible on his part. ryin to help defeat mitt romney in november. >> i think that also means this is not the last we're going to be hearing of this in the coming days and weeks. dana bash, great report. k yothano much.than da erou 're lookinor ation. tons with kfor. i eve shs on the phone. are you with me? >> yes, i am. >> tell me what are you seeing there? the images that we see here on our television screens are very scary. >> they are very scary. i am right nowin noble in a mobi heark about a half mile north of the fire. right in front of me, i can see big, large, dark clouds. firefirs have been fighting the wildfires since yesterday afteoon, and ty just continue we hav had multiple wall fires around the metro and further
south. so far, we have heard early estimates, 700 acres and five homes have been destroyed, but fire officials say it is really hard to say or determine the damage because they're still battling the top five every time they flare up. >> absolutely. we spoke with a gentleman with oklahoma emergency management a short time ago, and he said just what you're saying, it is almost impossible to keep count of homes destroyed because it is such a fast moving fire. he told me the latest count he had was 25 homes destroyed. so what are you hearing from residents in the area now? >> well, right now, i am in the mobile home park. residents are leaving, packing up their cars, filling them up with clothing, blankets, food, and going to shelters nearby, going to stay with family kind of around the area, because the mobile home park is going to be evacuated mandatory in a few minutes, the fire is getting closer and closer every minute. >> absolutely. the pictures are very, very scary to look at. a dangerous, fast moving wildfire.
six active fires is the latest that we have as well as the last count was 25 homes destroyed and many obviously in a very dangerous, dangerous path. thank you so much for jumping on the phone with us. stay safe there. >> sure thing, kate. even if you have been following the controversy surrounding chick-fil-a, you may not realize how many other businesses are run by christian conservatives who aren't shy about venting their views. s an , less-expensive option than using a traditional lawyer? well, legalzoom came up with a better way. we took the best of the old and combined it with modern technology. together you get quality services on your terms, with total customer support. legalzoom documents have been accepted in all 50 states, and they're backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. so go to legalzoom.com today and see for yourself. it's law that just makes sense.
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support for the company. the controversy put chicken sandwiches smack dab in the middle of the culture wars. could other companies face similar problems? mary snow joins me, has been looking into this. mary, what did you find? >> kate, with so much attention on chick-fil-a, just about everyone is learning abo the company, and that includes the fact it applies biblical principle to the business, has done so a long time. that sparked curiosity about what other companies mix religion and business, and there are certainly a number out there. the chick-fil-a controversy started with comments the company's president made supporting traditional marriage only. but it has thrust the company's religious background front and center. turns out chick-fil-a isn't the only corporation that makes faith part of its messaging. forever 21 caters to young women. look at the shopping bag, itoth. you take a closer look at the bottom, and there's a reference to the new testament.
the actual passage isn't included on the bag, but john 3:16 in the bible reads, "for god so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, what whoever believes him shall not perish, but have eternal life." shoppers were surprised. >> i can't see the connection between the bible stuff and shopping. >> i mean, it's their right. they're propagating a religion. it's totally up to them. doesn't stop me from buying anything. but i'm very surprised. i wouldn't do something like that. >> reporter: the clothing chain shares something in common with the famous in-n-out burger on the west coast. buy a burger and on the wrapper or on the bottom of a cup, you'll see the same reference to the bible passage, john 3:16. in-n-out burger says it's been printed there for more than 25 years as an expression of faith. >> kind of pushing it down my throat, if there was religious stuff overtly, i may not go there, because i don't think it's their point to push that on you. >> as long as you don't
discriminate against others, i think you're allowed to express what you want. >> reporter: the biblical messages are subtle, resonating mostly with people familiar with the bible. cnn religion editor, dan gillgolf. >> in some ways, these are coded messages that mean something to consumers who are sort of in know or in the club and go over the heads of others. >> tom's of maine cites faith in its approach to environmentalism. but those who study branding say there's a big difference wean touting a cause and being too overt with religious beliefs. >> there are two brands, we would say, there's a protestant brand or an islamic brand. it's just not a place where brands tend to go. but when you really see what's happening now with chick-fil-a, you really understand why that's the case. >> and professor tim calkins, who you just saw there, says there are companies that assert religion without pushing it, and
there's been no controversy, but once a line is crossed into a controversial issue, it can mushroom. kate? >> thank you, have a great weekend. >> you too. baseball great cal ripkin is asking for public help in solving a kidnapping mystery that hit very close to home. his mother was kidnapped and held for almost 24 hours before being found safe, but very shaken. the kidnapper did use the victim's credit cards. listen to this. >> law enforcement needs your help. the investigation is moving along. if you know anything about the case, if you know anything about the identity of the person in the photos, the sketch, i would encourage all of you to call in and report what you know. for what we know right now, from what i know, we don't know why. and so that's -- it's bizarre on many levels and it's unsettling on many levels.
>> police consider the man armed and dangerous. ripk ripken's mother has not yet returned to her home since this abduction. quite a mystery. and another mystery that we're actually falling, an amusement park mystery involving north korea's new leader. we're learning new details about some pretty unusual diplomacy. north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing generations of cleaner-burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self-contained well systems. and, using state-of-the-art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment. we're america's natural gas.
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more strange images coming out of north korea. they've sparked a new mystery about who has the ear of the country's new leader. turns out that mystery has been solved. cnn's brian todd has been working the story for us. >> we could turn this into a game show at this point. we're going to call it, who's with kim? the images are so bizarre, you would think it's some kind of
hollywood parody if they didn't come from north korea. take this latest one. last week this picture was released of north korea's young new leader, kim jong-un on a roller-coaster at an amusement park called the pleasure ground. we'll skip the obligatory jokes about this one. who is this guy? we were all abuzz. same picture, pretty much, when we saw a mysterious westerners, only one among a group of howling, laughing north koreans. this is barnaby jones, an official with the embassy in pyongyang. this guy's a british diplomat. britain and north korea have had a softening of relations recently, and this photo seemingly designed to illustrate that the young kim is opening up his country a little bit and becoming a little bit less militaristic than his father, kim jong-il. this all follows a series of pictures from last month, of kim with a mysterious young woman.
there was speculation that she was the lead singer of a north korean pop band, but last week a south korean lawmaker who had been briefed by intelligence officials said this woman is not the singer, but a woman named ri sol-ju who he married about three years ago. the woman was with kim at an event that gave us yet another great image from north korea, a disney-themed musical production. turns out the walt disney company said the north koreans should not have been using those outfits and characters, that they did so without the company's permission. something tells me, kate, any lawsuit emanating from this will not go well from either side. >> or go anywhere, really. brian, there bits to be a bit of family history of strange images that get blasted out to the world on occasion. >> there really is a history. we'll take you back three years. who could forget this picture, bill clinton, august 2009, he travels to north korea to help secure the release of two jailed american journalists. that brought out this picture, a smiling kim jong-il, the current
leader's late father, next to a bill clinton who's clearly taking pains not to smile. we all know bill clinton will smile at any photo op that's given. there's a code, it doesn't make you look good if you're seen in a photograph smiling next to a dictator who's got a reputation for torture and killing his own people. >> even with these latest, kind of humorous-looking pictures, there's some substance around them, is there? >> that's right. you look at all these, but you have to realize, there might be a method. this is all an effort by kim jong-un to show his country in